"Socrates, can virtue be taught?"1 The dialogue begins with Meno asking Socrates whether virtue can be taught. At the end of the Meno (86d-100b), Socrates attempts to answer the question. This question is prior to the division between opinion and knowledge and provides to unsettle both. Anytus participated in Socrates
Socrates was a Western Ancient Athenian Greek philosopher who lived from 469 BCE until his death in 399 BCE. He was a student to another philosopher, Sophists, Socrates was different from most Greek philosophers he wanted to get at the truth and find out how one can truly be ‘good’ and moral in life. “To Socrates the soul is identified with the mind; it is the seat of reason and capable of finding the ethical truths, which will restore meaning and value of life” (ADD IN-TEXT CITATION SEMINAR). We continue to use many of Socrates teachings today, such as, ‘The Socratic method’, which is known as asking a question and within these questions you lead it to the answer you wanted to hear, many uses this as a teaching technique and is shown to be highly effective. A great number of Athenians looked up to Socrates and considered him the wise man of Athens, he had many followers whom would ask questions and seek answers. As popularity and following of Socrates grew so did accusations. The charges laid on Socrates by the Athenians were unjust and therefore his death was highly wrong in the eyes of true democracy that Athens was apparently known for. In this paper, I will discuss how Socrates was wrongfully convicted for the corruption of the youth despite having many young followers, introducing new Gods while still being considered an Atheist, and the main reason he was seen as a threat to Athens was that he brought change to the city.
Meno was a student of Gorgias, and he has a long discussion with Socrates about what virtue is. Socrates and Meno wonder if virtue can be taught, Meno proposes that it may be a result of practice or an inherent trait, but before they can answer that question they first need to agree on what virtue is. Meno makes multiple attempts at a description of virtue and Socrates points out potential problems. A definition of virtue is not settled, which leads to the discussion about the problem of learning. If neither or them know what virtue is then how will they know if they find it. Plato describes this ongoing discussion between Socrates and Meno.
Can Virtue be Acquired? An Examination of the Laches, Meno, and Protagoras In the Socratic dialogues of Plato, Socrates often argues against the pretence of knowledge in his interlocutors. In the case of the Laches, Meno, and Protagoras dialogues, the pretence is the knowledge of virtue, among other things. The Laches seeks a definition of arête (virtue), the Meno examines the teaching of virtue, and the Protagoras offers a known expert the chance to defend that virtue can, indeed, be taught. Using these dialogues as a backdrop, I will provide an analysis of the arguments and comment on the acquisition of virtue in Platonic dialogue.
Sanha Ryoo PHIL 127 Paper 1 02 October 2014 The Unexamined Life Through several dialogues Plato gives readers accounts of Socrates’ interactions with other Athenians. While some may think of him as a teacher of sorts, Socrates is adamant in rejecting any such claim (Plato, Apology 33a-b). He insists that he is not a teacher because he is not transferring any knowledge from himself to others, but rather assisting those he interacts with in reaching the truth. This assistance is the reason Socrates walks around Athens, engaging in conversation with anyone that he can convince to converse with him. An assertion he makes at his trial in Plato’s Apology is at the center of what drives Socrates in his abnormal ways, “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being” (38a). Socrates, through aporia, looks to lead an examined life to perfect his soul and live as the best person he can be. This paper looks to examine the ‘unexamined life’ and the implications rooted in living a life like Socrates’.
Socrates interaction with Meno started a chain reaction of arguments, claims, and theories. Socrates is known for exposing the ignorance of ethical claims and definitions. In Plato Socrates justifies his actions by stating how he is essentially providing society a service by teaching proper moral values. He believes that living a good life is knowing one’s limitation on their intelligence and seeking knowledge that could help them morally and intellectually. On this basis, Socrates enlists an argument with Meno of what is virtue in terms of the form and characteristics. Socrates, himself, confessed he did not know what virtue is, and in the hope of doing so, presses Meno on his interpretations of virtue. In Plato's, Meno Socrates deducts a claim that “no one desires bad things’’ and gives a valid argument that considers human values and human reasoning.
Part 1: Socrates’ Worldview Socrates is a widely renowned teacher, who has taught and demonstrated a variety of lessons that regard how he views the world. Socrates has described his view on morality, purpose, death, and the ultimate. He has spoken about these views through multiple texts including The Last Days of Socrates and they have been interpreted through the text Socrates by George Rudebusch. Through these worldviews, Socrates has given people the opportunity to expand their wisdom and question the world around them.
A philosophical attitude toward life should play a major part in our lives. It is crucial for us as humans to learn and accept lessons learned through the experience of life. If you do not “examine your life” then what do you learn and what do you gain? Socrates’ in “The Trial and Death of Socrates” he details this in many ways. We can pull all the evidence and ideas we need from this text written by Plato. In the 3 parts Euthyphro, Apology and Crito many conclusions are made and there is much to learn from this text. Some of the most important parts allude to this idea of living life with a philosophical attitude. The book begins with the search for the definition of piety. In the apology Socrates’ details his side of the argument showing everyone the power of his own ideas and that is proved by his execution and finally in the Crito his commitment to his way of life is the last point that Socrates’ made. This text is chalked full of life lessons but the most important is the one that urges people to live their lives while never stopping to learn and think.
In Plato’s dialogue, Meno, the primary objective is an inquiry of the meaning of virtue. Much debate and several futile attempts to define virtue prompts Meno to inquire whether an answer is even possible. The problem Socrates and Meno have come across is
Virtue is something insurmountably perplexing but infinitely used within society. Although hard to define, Virtue seems to be a type of knowledge that depicts our moral standards. After reading Meno by Plato, I conclude that virtue can in fact, be taught. Through the Meno, Socrates converses with Meno beginning to end on what Meno believes “virtue” is. Socrates admits that he ‘knows that he does not know’ what the definition is, but he knows the process and how to find out what it may be. Through questioning and interrogation (elenchus), Socrates leads Meno and a slave boy through the socratic process of doxa, aporia, and then anamnesis. Socrates explains, “Then if the truth about reality is always in our soul, the soul would be immortal so that you should always confidently try to seek out and recollect?” (86, b). Because of this recollection (anamnesis), Socrates concludes that the soul is then immortal and is all in all, recollecting previous knowledge hidden deep within the soul.
The use of Socrates’ inquiry in the Meno is a perfect example to show how Socrates pushed his listeners to question their own knowledge. Socrates never told Meno his definitions were wrong and his own were right, rather continued to question Meno’s conclusions to show him that he did not know the true meaning of virtue. The people of Athens were unable to accept the fact that many of them were ignorant on topics such as the definition of virtue, whereas Socrates himself was able to admit it. The Athenians disguised Socrates’ true desire to teach people for corruption and impiety because they believed he was trying to humiliate them. Although the people of Athens were blind of Socrates’ true intentions, his method of inquiry did in fact benefit the city of Athens. Socrates’ methods eliminated ignorance and increased proper knowledge on important things such as virtue and knowledge within the city of Athens, which is what he meant when he said he was “a gift of the gods to the city of Athens.”
Bibliographical Annotations FUTTER, DYLAN. “Socrates Human Wisdom.” Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 52.1 (2013): 61-79. Humanities International Complete. Print.
What’s Good? Socrates’s offering to the jury is to tell the truth, despite not admitting that it is simply his truth and thus not the entire truth, he is not able to convey to the jury the importance of not killing him. A bad citizen would try to undermine the jury
Socrates is known in today’s world as one of the greatest philosophers in history. Born in 469 BC just outside of Athens, Socrates was properly brought up and thoroughly educated, he developed both physical and mental strengths. Socrates spent time with the philosopher Archelaus, where he studied astronomy, mathematics, and was introduced to philosophy. Archelaus taught with a scientific approach. Socrates turned from this approach and created his own. He decided instead of trying to understand the universe, he would try to understand himself. Socrates spent many days in the Athens marketplace where he became skilled in the art of arguing.
Meno was one of Plato’s earliest of dialogues, written in depth the book is founded around a central question: If virtue can be taught, then how? And if not, then how does virtue come to man, either by nature or some other way? Socrates addresses this inquiry by questioning a